Rated Everyone 10+ by ESRB.  (http://games.kidswb.com/scribblenauts/)  At E3 2009, Scribblenauts won many best of show awards being named many times over as “most creative title”, “most innovative title”, “best original game”, etc. Now that the actual game is out, it proves to live up to its name. Scribblenauts is made by Bellevue-located developer 5th Cell, who is also responsible for 2 other unique titles: Lock’s Quest and Drawn to Life. Scribblenauts is a puzzle-based game; its main mode includes a few hundred mini stages where the player needs to reach a location or to resolve a situation. But the selling point of Scribblenauts is that it allows the player, playing as Maxwell, to summon just about any real and imaginary objects by simply writing in the letters. Using the unlimited tools to solve Scribblenauts’ equally creative obstacles is like a brainstorming exercise, which is far more beneficial than other games and of course, the TV.

Rated Everyone 10+ by ESRB.  (http://games.kidswb.com/scribblenauts/)  At E3 2009, Scribblenauts won many best of show awards being named many times over as “most creative title”, “most innovative title”, “best original game”, etc. Now that the actual game is out, it proves to live up to its name. Scribblenauts is made by Bellevue-located developer 5th Cell, who is also responsible for 2 other unique titles: Lock’s Quest and Drawn to Life. Scribblenauts is a puzzle-based game; its main mode includes a few hundred mini stages where the player needs to reach a location or to resolve a situation. But the selling point of Scribblenauts is that it allows the player, playing as Maxwell, to summon just about any real and imaginary objects by simply writing in the letters. Using the unlimited tools to solve Scribblenauts’ equally creative obstacles is like a brainstorming exercise, which is far more beneficial than other games and of course, the TV.

 

Presentation:

Aside being one of the best handheld titles in the recent months, developers 5th Cell had done an excellent job making a game that requires so much creativity from its players. Lots of effort was put into making the pool of available objects for the game, quite a few months was spent to research nouns and define their properties. The tens of thousands of summonable objects all have their way of interacting with Maxwell and sometimes react to other objects. Finding out how different objects can interact with one another offers just as much as entertaining value as solving the game’s puzzles.

 

Graphics:

Scribblenauts uses a simple 2D art style. Everything is cartoony and cutesy. Using that simple style, the developers intuitively add in object-interactions. But simple does not mean empty or plain because the background, characters, and objects are always detailed. Delicate touches such as the strings hanging suns and clouds are something that everyone young and old can appreciate.

         

Sounds:

The music and sound effects are suitable for what they are, but nothing outstanding to note. Through out the game, there are a total of 38 lighthearted tracks to fit the various stages. The sounds in Scribblenauts is what one would expect out of a cartoon befitting its visual style, with plenty of unrealistic but yet intriguing sounds representing all the different events.

 

Gameplay:

When not dabbling with the game’s many puzzles, the player can use the title screen of the game as a free form sandbox. Picking any of the stages unlocked in the title screen, the player may do all their summoning without any limits or pressure.

 

The main challenge mode contains 2 different types of levels, it’s either solving a problem of some sort or going from point A to point B aka 2D-platforming. But the challenges and obstacles comes in all different kinds, from typical ones to unimaginable ones. Utilizing the DS touch pad by writing or typing in words, the player can summon any real or fictional objects. With the world at the player’s disposal, the challenge comes in where the game does not give any hint for the player about how to approach a puzzle.

 

Controlling Maxwell can be frustrating or challenging at times since the game utilizes stylus control for everything except for camera movement. There are many times where placing a summon object will accidentally cause Maxwell to move, sometimes spoiling the level entirely.

         

Innovation:

Scribblenauts is one of the most original games to come by in the few recent months, if not years. And even though it has a novel gameplay concept, it is easy to understand how to play the game. The game itself is unique for sure, but one of the best parts about playing Scribblenauts is that it makes the player feel creative as well.

 

Longevity:

This is not a game where one would sit down and play for hours without stopping, since one can only stay creative for so long in a single sitting. But with 22 levels for each area, and 10 areas in total, these few hundred puzzles will have the player keep going back to Scribblenauts time and time again. After a level has been completed for the first time, the player may enter the level’s advanced mode where the player needs to finish the same level 3 times in a row without repeating any word. And if that isn’t enough, Scrriblenauts comes with a level editor where the player may make their own levels.

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